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Home » Green Car News » Hydrogen Cars

Microcab hydrogen powered cars

24 Dec 2008

Microcab hydrogen powered cars



Five hydrogen powered cars have been unveiled at the University of Birmingham, making it the only university in the UK to run a fleet of vehicles powered in this way.

The cars are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, they are pollution free, virtually silent in operation, can travel up to 100 miles on a full tank of hydrogen and at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.  The vehicles, designed and built by Microcab Ltd, are being used in a study by the University’s School of Chemical Engineering to find out more about the viability of hydrogen in transport applications. They will be compared with the campus fleet of petrol, diesel and pure electric vehicles so that researchers can learn about their efficiency, performance and how they can be adapted in order to make hydrogen an attractive and cost effective option as a future fuel.

Professor Kevin Kendall, lead investigator for the project and head of the University’s Fuel Cells Group, says, ‘The cars will now start to carry out tasks on the campus, including postal deliveries, recycling of materials and duties around the estate. This will enable us to test the car components for reliability, get the cars road-legal and confirm their efficiency and cost effectiveness.’

Dr Waldemar Bujalski from the Fuel Cells Group, says, ‘We have the beginnings of a hydrogen infrastructure, as the University currently has a refuelling station on its campus, and there are more Midlands fuelling stations coming into operation over the coming months, so soon we expect to be able to drive between these sites in vehicles powered by hydrogen.’

John Jostins, Managing Director of Microcab, says, ‘This is a very special moment for the Microcab project - our first delivery of a fleet of vehicles. This kind of zero emissions car has been a personal vision of mine for many years and the sight of five hydrogen fuel cell Microcabs running round the campus in convoy is truly wonderful for me.’

The research is part of the hydrogen energy project which has received funding from Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands to develop the use of hydrogen energy as a green fuel in collaboration with the University of Warwick. The project is part of the Science City Initiative.


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